LeBron James said he hopes the Los Angeles Lakers’ current state won’t be a recurring theme for the rest of his NBA days.

“I don’t want to finish my career playing at this level, from a team aspect,” the Lakers star said after Wednesday’s 112-98 loss to the Miami Heat, according to Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press. “I want to still be able to compete for championships because I know what I can still bring to any ballclub with the right pieces.”

James led Los Angeles with 27 points and nine rebounds while playing 34 minutes Wednesday. His six assists in the loss ranked second only to Russell Westbrook on the team. Despite James’ production, the club dropped to 14-21 on the season. The Lakers are now five games out of a top-six seed berth and three off the play-in pace.

However, L.A. can hardly blame its predicament on James, who turns 38 on Friday. The four-time MVP is averaging 27.8 points, eight rebounds, 6.6 assists, and 1.1 steals in his 20th NBA campaign. James has also stayed relatively healthy, missing just eight games all season, with an adductor strain sidelining him for five contests being his only extended absence.

Darvin Ham’s side is trying to stay afloat without James’ co-star Anthony Davis, who remains without a recovery timetable from a stress injury in his foot. But even with Davis healthy, the Lakers went just 10-14 with the big man in the lineup.

With or without Davis, James said he isn’t content letting a season go to waste.

“I’m a winner, and I want to win,” he said when asked how much longer he intends to play, according to Kyle Goon of the Southern California News Group. “And I want to win and give myself a chance to win and still compete for championships. That has always been my passion; that has always been my goal since I entered the league as an 18-year-old kid out of Akron, Ohio.

“And I know it takes steps to get there, but once you get there and know how to get there, playing basketball at this level just to be playing basketball is not in my DNA. It’s not in my DNA anymore. So, we’ll see what happens and see how fresh my mind stays over the next couple years.”

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